To some people, owning the best pepper mill may sound kind of silly. Why would I need a pepper mill when I can just use ground pepper from the store? Well, the main reason is simply just that. Yes, you could use ground pepper from the store, but once peppercorns are ground, they begin to oxidize and lose their potency. Fresh ground pepper only stays fresh for an hour or so. So, in the long run, freshly ground is going to be better every time.

You may say “but pepper mills are for servers to use and really only for finishing a dish, not cooking with it”. Wrong again. If you replace your ground pepper from the store with fresh ground pepper from a spice grinder or pepper mill, then you will find yourself using a lot less pepper than you used to. You will also notice a change in the flavor profiles of your food because you are using freshly ground pepper.

Well, then why couldn’t I just use a mortar and pestle? Well, you could but, that will take a lot more time and energy to accomplish when you could have just reached for the pepper mill and with a couple or crank rotations, done the same thing. A pepper mill will make all the difference in your cooking and save you loads of time.

Eating freshly ground pepper every day will also make you healthier. Fresh pepper is full of antioxidants which help to burn fat and promote a healthy digestive system. Pepper is also great for your teeth and also helps to speed up the absorption of essential minerals in the body.

In this article, we will go over some of the different types of pepper mills as well as what to look for when purchasing a new one. We will also cover some of the pepper mills available for purchase on the market today and which may be a good fit for you and your cooking.

How to Choose the Best Pepper Mill

If you don’t know anything about pepper mills and you decide to go buy one, most likely you will buy the first thing you see, the most expensive one or the prettiest looking one. Well, this would be a bad decision because you may end up with a pepper mill that doesn’t fill your needs. It’s also not like buying a garlic press or a chef knife because a pepper mill has an inner working and moving parts. You may end up with a pepper mill that doesn’t grind.

You also do not want to buy the pepper mills at the store that have been prefilled with peppercorns. Usually, these pepper mills will wind up having some kind of problem or will break very easily. Plus, you are going to want to get your own peppercorns to grind. It is also very hard to determine how long that pepper has been there once it was prefilled. Always get a pepper mill that comes with some kind of warranty to protect it from damages and defects that may occur while in use or during shipping.

You want to make sure that whichever pepper mill you decide to go with, that you know how to use it and are comfortable using it as well. There are several different styles of grinders and how they operate. There is the standard type where the body and top of the pepper mill are turned by hand to grind the spices.

There is also a type that has a crank at the top. This kind is much easier to use than the other pepper mill and you will use less energy trying to grind pepper. There are also other models that are electric and will grind the pepper for you when you turn them on. There are a couple of models that are electric and work as a shaker. When you turn the bottle or mill upside down, it begins to grind the pepper, just like a pepper shaker. There is a lot of different versions so make sure to look at them all before you make a decision.

Construction and Design

First and foremost, you want all the inner workings and moving parts to be top notch in terms of construction and materials. More specifically, the burr grinding system. You want to make sure the grinder is made of string stainless steel or something similar. You do not want acrylic or plastic inner workings for the burr grinder because they will most likely fail over and over again. They will break and leave you without a pepper mill.

Some of the models have an option to change the coarseness of the final ground product. While this is a cool function, it is really not necessary. Depending on how often you will be using the pepper mill will determine the size you will need to get. Some models hold as little as 1/4 cup of peppercorns while some of the larger models can hold up to two cups of peppercorns. So, determine how often it will be used before going for a small or large pepper mill.

Pepper mills can be made out of several different materials but there are a few that are fairly common. Wood is a good choice because it is sturdy and durable and will not break easily if dropped. Wooden pepper mills will do a great job of grinding just about anything but they are hard to keep cleaned properly.

Metal pepper mills are the strongest and most durable of all the choices. They look sleek and are very easy to clean. However, they can be very heavy and may weigh on your wrist when grinding large amounts of peppercorns.
Then there are acrylic or plastic pepper mills. These work very efficiently and are very lightweight. These are commonly used by servers in restaurants. They are very easy to fill and keep clean as well. However, they do have a tendency to break more often than not and happen to crack in wearing areas.

9 Best Pepper Mills

COLE & MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder

COLE and MASON Derwent Pepper Grinder

The Best Pepper Mill Overall

The first pepper mill on our list is the best because of a few reasons. It is priced very fairly but does not come with a warranty to protect it.

The pepper mill is made of high-quality clear acrylic with a stainless-steel exterior to add an elegant look and maximum durability. Since the pepper mill is see through, it is easy to refill it when needed. The pepper mill is able to be set to 6 different levels of coarseness and can be used for other spices, not just pepper. The inner grinding system is made of high-quality stainless steel that grinds the spices rather than crushing them like other spice grinders do.

Pros

  • The pepper mill is constructed of high-quality acrylic and stainless steel to offer durability, lightweight and a see-through chamber for easy filling.
  • The pepper mill has six different settings of coarseness.
  • The grinding mechanism is made of high-quality stainless-steel.
Cons

  • While the pepper mill is very affordable, there is no warranty to protect it.

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Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill 9″

Unicorn Magnum Plus Pepper Mill

The Best Acrylic Pepper Mill

The next pepper mill is a very popular model and is mainly used by servers in fine dining restaurants. The reason is because it is small, lightweight and very easy to use and refill.

While the body is made of acrylic ABS that is easy to use and easy to clean, the inner grinding system is made of high-quality stainless-steel that will outlast other grinding systems. The side loading systems make reloading peppercorns easy and there is an adjustment screw to change the grind from coarse to fine. The bad thing is this pepper mill is expensive and it doesn’t come with any warranty to protect it.

Pros

  • The pepper mill is constructed of ABS acrylic which is lightweight, easy to use and compact.
  • The inner grinding system is made of stainless-steel.
  • The mill has a side loading system and is able to be adjusted for a fine or coarse grind.
Cons

  • The pepper mill is kind of pricey and does not come protected by any warranty.

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OXO Good Grips Lewis Pepper Mill

OXO Good Grips Lewis Pepper Mill

The Best Hand Crank Pepper Mill

The next model of pepper mill is extremely easy to use, very lightweight and easy to clean. It’s also one of the cheapest pepper mills out there for only 10 bucks but doesn’t come protected by any warranty.

The entire body of the mill is made of acrylic while the inner grinding system is made of ceramic. Ceramic is still a quality material and is better than a plastic grinder. The hand crank also has a slip resistant knob on it to help when grinding. The acrylic is clear in some areas to make refilling much easier.

Pros

  • The pepper mill is easy to use, lightweight and compact.
  • The body is made of acrylic while the grinding system is made of quality ceramic.
  • The hand crank has a slip resistant handle and a clear window for easy refilling of peppercorns.
Cons

  • While this is one of the cheapest and most useful pepper mills, it does not come with a warranty to protect it.

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Zassenhaus Speyer 5.1-Inch Dark Stained Beech Pepper Mill

The Best Wooden Pepper Mill

This rustic looking pepper mill has had the same design for over 100 years coming from Germany. Germany is known for making quality products so there is no wonder why they are still selling the same pepper mill 100 years later.

The body is constructed of dark stained beech wood while the grinding system is made of high-quality ceramic which is guaranteed to last 25 years according to the company. The pepper mill is very sturdy and has some weight to it.

There is also a 6-position changer for the coarseness of the grind. The pepper mill is operated by a brass handled crank which is very easy to use. This product is a little more expensive but seems to be worth it in the long run just has a very outdated design.

Pros

  • The pepper mill comes from a company in Germany who has been making the exact same pepper mill for over 100 years.
  • The inner grinding system is ceramic which comes with a 25-year guarantee from the company.
  • There is a six-position changer for coarseness of the grind and is easily operated with the brass handle cranking system.
Cons

  • The pepper mill is a little heavier than others, may be harder to clean and has a very outdated design.

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Peugeot 32470 Paris Chef u’Select Stainless Steel Pepper Mill

Peugeot 32470 Paris Chef uSelect Stainless Steel Pepper Mill

The Best Stainless-Steel Pepper Mill

This next pepper mill hails from France and is about $50 to make it yours. While that may sound steep the pepper mill comes with a lifetime warranty on the grinding system and a 5-year warranty on the exterior stainless-steel body.

The pepper mill is completely constructed of high-grade brushed stainless-steel inside and out. This makes the mill a little bit heavier than most but very durable at the same time. There is a position changer to change to six different grind settings and an extra row of helix shaped teeth for maximum grinding power.

Pros

  • The pepper mill is covered by a 5-year warranty against damages to the body and a lifetime warranty that protects the grinding system.
  • The entire pepper mill is constructed of high grade stainless-steel.
  • The is an extra row of helix shaped teeth for maximum grinding power.
Cons

  • The pepper mill is a little bit pricey and may be on the heavier side of most pepper mills.

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Latent Epicure Battery Operated Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

Latent Epicure Battery Operated Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

The Best Battery-Operated Pepper Mill

This pepper mill is a blessing and a curse in so many ways. The first is that it is very affordable but does not come protected by a warranty.

The body and inner grinding system are constructed of acrylic with a brushed stainless-steel cover. This makes the cleaning much easier and lightweight for handling, but also means the pepper mill may crack or break over time and the grinding system will cease to grind anymore. The pepper mill is easily operated with just the touch of a button and has 6 different coarse settings. It also comes with a spice catcher to keep the kitchen counter clean.

Pros

  • The pepper mill is easily operated with the touch of a button.
  • The pepper mill is easy to use, clean and refill with the see-through window.
  • There are 6 different settings for coarseness desired.
Cons

  • There is no warranty to protect it.
  • The inner grinding system is made of acrylic which means it will wear out and break very quickly.

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Fletchers’ Mill Federal Pepper Mill

Fletchers Mill Federal Pepper Mill

The Old School Pepper Grinder

This pepper mill has the look of a pepper mill you have probably seen before. It is constructed of wood and comes in many different colors available. The pepper mill isn’t the cheapest but it comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it.

The body is constructed of heavy stained wood which provides stability and durability but also makes it very heavy to use and hard to clean. The pepper mill also has several different settings for coarseness. If you plan on cracking a lot of pepper, this may not be the best for you because it will make you work.

Pros

  • Very affordable and comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it.
  • The body is constructed of hard stained wood to provide extra strong durability.
  • The pepper mill has 6 different settings for coarseness.
Cons

  • The pepper mill can be quite heavy to use and may make your arms tired if you plan on using it a lot.
  • The pepper mill will be a little more difficult to clean than most other pepper mills.

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OXO Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

OXO Salt and Pepper Grinder Set

The Duo Spice Grinders

These salt and pepper grinders are more for the table use rather than to be used in kitchen to season food. These usually sit on the table for guests to use. They are fairly pricey for the set and do not come with any warranty.

The body is made of clear acrylic for easy loading and the inner grinding system is constructed of ceramic for long-lasting usage. The top of the spice grinders also has a slip resistant knob for easy use.

Pros

  • The grinders are constructed of clear acrylic making it easy to refill spices.
  • The top of the grinders has slip resistant grips for easy handling.
  • The inner grinding system is made of high grade, non-corrosive ceramic for a long-lasting use.
Cons

  • The salt and pepper mills are mainly used on the dinner table by guests and not in the kitchen to season food.
  • Do not come with a warranty to protect them.

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Eparé Salt or Pepper Grinder

Epare Salt or Pepper Grinder

A Better Version of the Electric Pepper Mill

Here is another battery-operated pepper mill that is actually pretty handy. It is also very affordable and also comes with a lifetime warranty to protect it.

The body is made of clear acrylic for easy refilling and the inner grinding system is made of non-corrosive ceramic to ensure a proper grind on all spices. The pepper mill is easily operated with just the push of a button and is very easy to clean as well. There is also a bright LED light that turns on when you are seasoning food so you can see how much you are putting on if you are in a dim room or in the dark.

Pros

  • Has a LED light that turns on, while in use for seasoning in under lit rooms or at night outside.
  • The pepper mill is easily operated with the push of a button and is also easily cleaned.
  • The body is made of clear acrylic and the grinding system is made of non-corrosive ceramic for long lasting use.
  • The unit is only $20 and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Cons

  • It is electric so when the batteries die, you can’t grind it by hand.

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Conclusion

No matter what pepper mill you decide works best for you, make sure that you are comfortable using it and know how to take care of it properly. Also, make sure it is well constructed and will last forever. Now get out and buy the best pepper mill today and start to spice up your cooking!